Aiming to Maintain Weight Can Actually Help Fat Loss Goals

We’ve all had moments during a weight loss where we started to lose momentum. Sometimes it can feel like our weight goal is so far away and we may be tempted to give up. If weight loss seems like an endless process, maybe it’s time to include some maintenance steps in your Plan.

A maintenance phase is one in which you simply focus on maintaining your current weight and on creating a much-needed body and mental break from the intensity and focus of a fat loss program.

THE NEED FOR A MAINTENANCE PHASE

“A lot of people put in a lot of effort every day and need time not to hustle,” says Chris Freytag, personal trainer, health coach and founder of Get Healthy U TV.

Think about it: following a new diet and developing new exercise habits is hard work, both bodily and emotionally. Your muscles, connective tissues and joints may be exhausted by your new fitness routine, and if you have reduced (or omitted completely) certain foods, your willpower is probably exhausted.

In addition, some times of the year are usually busier than others (think back to school and holidays). Or a few weeks at work can become unusually hectic. If you already have your hands full, following a weight loss plan at the same time can be overwhelming. Of course, many people put their weight loss goal on hold and fall into old unhealthy habits.

THE WAY TO PLAN, TO KEEP

If you know that you will find it difficult to follow your weight loss plan on one (or all) of these occasions, try converting it to a maintenance phase. This can avoid the inevitable exhaustion and the feeling of failure that often causes people to completely desert the healthy habits they have worked so hard on, which makes it much more difficult to get back on track.

Freytag recommends looking at your year and identifying periods when you are very busy Or know that you want a break from the intensity of your weight loss program. For example, you can follow a program during the first months of the year (January-March) and take advantage of spring break to relax a little. Or, if you know that it will be too difficult to stay on track during the holidays, plan it as a maintenance period.

Of course, none of this is set in stone, and you may find sooner or after that you need a Break.

“Fitness is a long-term thing,” Freytag says, “you don’t always have to have 12 weeks, 12 weeks off.”

MAINTENANCE IS NOT A PAS SAVANT

Do not confuse “maintenance” With “Do nothing”.”You will (hopefully) continue to follow healthy eating habits and follow a regular exercise routine during a maintenance period- just reduce the intensity a little.

Freytag recommends setting a goal for yourself to comply with the CDC guidelines on body activity. This means that you need to do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio (such as walking) or 75 minutes of high-intensity Cardio (such as jogging or running) and two total body strength sessions per week. Be sure to add variety to your workout so that you don’t get bored.

Freytag also suggests including flexibility exercises, such as Yoga or Pilates, in your Routine during a maintenance period. “A lot of people, when they’re trying to lose weight, do cardio and strength training,” she says. Activities like Yoga and Pilates can help your tissues recover from all the hard work, allowing you to return to your weight loss Phase to feel strong and refreshed.

When it comes to nutrition, Freytag advises following the 80/20 rule: maintain your healthy eating habits 80% of the time and give yourself a little leeway 20% of the time. This could mean having dessert on the weekend or having a drink with friends, “but it has to be gradual,” Freytag says. “The maintenance phase does not mean that you are out of balance.”

It’s also a good idea to find an element of accountability, whether it’s by checking in with someone else or finding an exercise class that you can participate in every week. Surrounding yourself with like-minded people can help you stay motivated and on track.

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